Make racing safer, urges champ Vettel

FORMULA ONE world champion Sebastian Vettel has urged motorsport chiefs to keep trying to make racing safer, after paying tribute to tragic British IndyCar star Dan Wheldon.

The death of Buckinghamshire-born Wheldon in Sunday’s Indy 300 in Las Vegas has prompted fresh questions about the dangers even the world’s best drivers are exposed to in competition.

Vettel said: “The last couple of years we’ve had some big crashes and luckily no big injuries or worse than that. We should never give up on trying to make racing safer in general.” The Red Bull driver spoke yesterday after it emerged motorsport’s world governing body the FIA had been asked to assist the IndyCar Series in probing the 15-car pile-up that claimed two-time Indy 500 winner Wheldon’s life.

Vettel called Wheldon’s passing “a big loss”, adding: “We always hope there won’t be any examples like that. I think we have learned a lot from the past. But there is always a certain risk which we can’t avoid which we are ready to take into account. We love racing, we love motorsport and it is dangerous.”

In light of Sunday’s accident IndyCar have postponed a test of a new car at the same Las Vegas circuit, which had been due to take place yesterday and today.